Amazing Unknown Health Benefits of Tart Cherries
When we came across the health benefits of tart cherries we thought we may have found the holy grail;
A safe food supplement, rich in natural sugars that’s great for overall health and doesn’t taste like grass!
Montmorency cherries, to give them their correct name, are the fruit of the Prunus cerasus tree and also known as tart cherries, dwarf cherries or sour cherries and are grown throughout the US, Canada and France.
Unlike sweet cherries which we enjoy fresh from the grocery store, tart cherries are usually juiced or frozen.
For supplements the goodness is extracted from the fruit and the goodness extracted and put into tart cherry capsules and sold in health food stores.
In this article we’ll talk about the health benefits of tart cherry juice.
We’ll find out why this powerful small fruit rich in antioxidant properties can battle heart disease, relieve arthritis pain and boost your immune system.
If you want to read about another effective way to improve your quality of life then check out our blog on the 15 amazing health benefits of Chlorella
Tart Cherry Juice - Nutritional Information
Let’s take a look at what’s contained inside the montmorency cherry that makes it a good choice for healthy individuals.
According to Nutritiondata, one 155g cup of sour cherries fruit juice without pips holds the following nutritional information:
- Calories: 77.5 (4% RDA)
- Protein: 1.6 g
- Fat: 0.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 18.9 g
- Fiber: 2.5 g (10% RDA)
- Sugar: 13.2 g
*Sweet varieties of tart cherries will contain considerably more grams of sugar.
Now we know what they contain, let’s have a look at 11 tart cherry juice benefits
11 tart cherry juice benefits
1. High in Cancer Fighting Antioxidants
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that tart cherries ranked 14 out of the top 50 foods for highest antioxidant content per serving size.
Which is good news as researchers continue to prove that diets rich in antioxidants lower a person’s risk for diseases such as cancer.
The high level of antioxidant compounds in tart cherries also help to reduce oxidative stress in the body.
The antioxidants combat the number of free radicals which can be fuel to the fire for pathogens (microorganisms that cause diseases).
Put simply, powerful antioxidant supplements like tart cherry juice can be a Godsend, especially for older adults who are more prone to oxidative damage.
2. Helps boost the immune system
The high antioxidant content of tart cherries gives them the leading edge in boosting your immune system and making it more resistant to illness.
A study on marathon runners who commonly experienced upper respiratory tract symptoms (URTS) found that 50% of the runners given a placebo developed (URTS) following the race.
Whereas none of those in the tart cherry juice group did.
3. Improves brain health
The bright red superfood may go even further than improving your body, the effects of tart cherry juice have also been known to positively enhance your brain!
A pilot study recorded in the Journal of Medicinal Food, reports that high levels of antioxidants and anthocyanins (which give tart cherries their bright red color) may slow degenerative brain diseases.
In the small study, mice with Alzheimer’s symptoms were fed cherry extract, fish oil, and emu oil. Mice running on tart cherry extract performed better on cognitive tests like object recognition than the control group.
Another recent study by scientists from the University of Delaware has supported the school of thought that drinking cherry juice has beneficial effects on memory.
Published in the Food & Nutrition journal, it demonstrated that drinking Montmorency tart cherry juice every day for 12 weeks improved cognitive function in adults aged 65 to 80.
4. Reduces the effects of Gout and Arthritis
Researchers into gout, a type of arthritis, have tested several varieties of cherries in almost every form, such as whole fruit, juice and pills.
Although most studies are small and the findings were preliminary, evidence of tart cherries helping to manage or reduce gout attacks is quickly growing.
Tart cherries are one of the highest sources of phenolic compounds, specifically anthocyanins, which are high in anti-inflammatory compounds.
Some researchers have concluded that Montmorency tart cherries have more inflammation-fighting potential than any other food.
Studies in the United States showed a 15% reduction in uric acid levels overnight after taking 2 servings of tart cherry juice.
5. Helps you sleep
If like me, you struggle to get your head down and night and enjoy your recommended eight hours of rest then guess what?
A few ounces of tart cherry juice each day might just be the answer to improving your sleep cycle too!
A recent study published by the American Journal of Therapeutics has shown how tart cherry juice concentrate improves total sleep time and sleep quality.
The participants experienced better sleep patterns and more of it.
Leading to the conclusion that naturally occurring melatonin coupled with anthocyanins in Montmorency cherries may have a positive impact on sleep efficiency.
This was confirmed by another clinical trial conducted by the European Journal of Nutrition whose participants exhibited the same end results.
Concluding that tart cherry juice consumption can stabilize and improve the sleep-wake cycle.
6. May help keep blood pressure low
Drinking tart Montmorency cherry juice significantly reduces high blood pressure at a level comparable to that achieved by medication, according to new research from Northumbria University, Newcastle, England.
The findings, which are published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that men with early signs of hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, saw a 7% reduction in blood pressure after drinking Montmorency cherry concentrate when compared to drinking a fruit-flavoured cordial.
This reduction is comparable to the level achieved by anti-hypertensive medication.
7. Keeps your muscles strong and healthy
Amazingly as well as the internal benefits of drinking tart cherry juice, the superfood can also have an impact on the way you look!
One group of men was given tart cherry supplements or a placebo in the days leading up to and immediately following an intense resistance training session.
The tart cherry group lost up to 4% less muscle strength as a result of the training when compared to men given the placebo
Tart cherry supplements may also reduce muscle breakdown and speed up recovery in resistance-trained individuals.
Making a choice between health supplements that make you look good and feel good may be a thing of the past.
Let us know if you decide to try tart cherry juice as part of your work out regime and if it works out for you.
8. Pain reliever
Building strong muscles and maintaining them is one thing but the effects of tart cherry juice go one step further.
Numerous studies have been conducted on athletes and gym goers who took tart cherry supplements daily, before and after strenuous exercise.
According to the Journal of the international society of sports nutrition, powdered tart cherry supplementation effectively reduces muscle soreness and aids exercise recovery.
So next time you’re smashing through a strength training session or taking on an intense workout, maybe look to add tart cherry juice to your diet and help improve your muscle recovery.
9. May help with weight loss
Ok so this one may or may not be true, not that it’s a total fabrication but the claim is speculative.
A rodent study in 2009 found that rats who were given tart cherries for 90 days lost belly fat and their metabolism improved.
No such studies have been conducted on humans however and the high sugar content in tart cherries has led critics to challenge this health claim.
10. Good for eye health
Anthocyanins in tart cherries stimulate blood flow in the eye, which slows down the progression of glaucoma.
People with glaucoma have increased pressure inside the eye, which causes gradual vision loss.
Melatonin also protects eyes against glaucoma, as well as age-related macular degeneration.
Vitamin C in the tart cherries also helps diminish AMD.
11. Great for digestion
You guessed it, antioxidants to the rescue once again.
In particular antioxidants known as polyphenols encourage the survival and reproduction of so-called good bacteria in the gut. Due to their anti-inflammatory properties they protect the lining of the gut.
Dr Franck Carbonero, from the University of Arkansas, says:
‘Our results suggest that the unique polyphenol mixture in tart cherries may help positively shape the gut microbiome, which could potentially have far-reaching health implications.’
3 Side Effects of Tart Cherry Juice
Now it wouldn’t be fair to just give you the good news about Montmorency.
According to my research I can only find a few minor side effects of taking tart cherry supplements, and they all boil down to one thing.
High sugar content!
- Stomach upset
Unsurprisingly ingesting any food stuff that is too high in sugars (natural or otherwise) will cause these issues.
These side effects wouldn’t be uncommon if you decided to chow down on a pack of oranges. As the Buddhist wisdom says;
‘Everything in moderation, including moderation.’
If you’ve enjoyed reading about the benefits of tart cherries then be sure to check out our other natural wellness blogs.